24 March 2011

IRISH FAMILY HISTORY FOUNDATION DATABASE: ADVANCED SEARCH ENGINE

     The Irish Family History Foundation (RootsIreland.ie) has announced that the Advanced Search feature is now available for all counties in its database, except for Counties Sligo and Limerick. The IFHF database is the largest online collection of Irish records. The advanced search feature allows a researcher to include more fields (search terms) in searches for births, baptisms, and marriages..  The new feature is useful in narrowing down results to those most pertinent to a researcher's interests. Previously, the fields for searches were limited to an individual's name, time span, and county.
     However, there are a few caveats to note when using the IFHF database. While searching the database is free, there is a charge to see the details of the retrieved records. Beware--the number of free searches a person can make is limited. The IFHF warns that  "this access will be limited at the discretion of the IFHF and its member centres. A high volume of searches without the purchase of any records will lead to disabling of your account." I have heard from a few researchers who have been denied access to the database because they did not purchase enough records.
     Also, be aware that the pricing policy is different when using the advanced search. The records retrieved from an advanced search must be bought in bulk.
     Check out the map of included counties when researching. Not all Irish counties are included in the database. If you are searching Sligo or Limerick, be aware that returns for those counties will not be included in an advanced search.
     (Please note that I am not affiliated in any way with the IFHF and this post is not an endorsement of or advertisement for the IFHF).
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